Fat Pugs: Discover all of their Causes and Consequences!

Worried about a Fat Pug? Your pug is overweight and you don’t know how to help him? You don’t know if you’re feeding your pug properly? Find here tips to know how to feed your pug, avoid overweight, and all of its complications in very simple steps.

  • Did your friend become a fat Pug and you don’t know how to make him lean again? Find the safest diets to do it here!
  • You don’t know how much to feed your dog? We’ve got you covered with our pug feeding chart!
  • You don’t know how to keep your pug lean always? Find here the best routines to keep him within his ideal weight!

When you finish reading this guide you’ll know how to properly feed your pug, how to calculate his portions, and how to effectively keep him lean all year long. Let’s get started!

“The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that nearly half the nation’s pets are classified as overweight or obese by a veterinary health care provider, including 43 percent of dogs and 53 percent of cats. As with humans, obese pets are at risk for heart problems, diabetes, and joint and hip difficulties.”

AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association

There are many fat pugs out there and this has many causes and consequences that can make them pay the ultimate price. Pugs are perceived as naturally bulky, which they sort of are, though this doesn’t mean that being overweight doesn’t affect them. In fact, they are among the most endangered breeds because of this issue since it aggravates their already existing condition; brachycephalic syndrome. However, you need to know that this issue has a solution that’s fairly easy to apply once you know what the causes are!

Fat Pug Causes: why Pugs get overweight?

Fat pug causes can vary a lot, however, very often this issue is directly caused by owners that do not know their pug’s feeding and exercise needs.

There are four major fat pugs causes are:

  • Overfeeding: We know that pugs love to eat and that they are not picky at all. They can eat just about anything you give them. Still, this problem can’t be called overeating. If you feed him too much, the pug will still eat it. If you feed him proper amounts and as scheduled, nothing can go wrong. This includes not feeding him with human food. Want to know how to make your pug stop begging?
  • Wrong Food: Pugs need to be nourished, not just fed. Not all dog foods out there are good for pugs since they can have messed up macronutrients that will get him fat eventually. You need to pick a recipe that keeps him well fed, energized, and that has the right amount of fat, carbohydrates, protein, and others to keep him lean. Find here the best food for pug puppies, adult pugs, and for pug’s weight loss.
  • No Exercise: Pugs have special needs regarding exercise because of their brachycephalic needs. This doesn’t mean they can’t exercise but instead means that they need a specialized type of exercise with added safety measures to avoid overheating and other issues.
  • Senior Pugs: Golden year pugs have special needs. They have a slower metabolism and lower energy levels (plus, they can be grumpy). That means you’ll need to feed them with fewer calories and better food with low fat and low protein. For that, check out our selection of food for weight control and food for senior pugs.

The only good thing about those causes is that all of them are controlled by you! If you make some twists in your dog’s routine you’ll see the changes after a while.

fat pug

Fat Pug Consequences: Pug health problems

There are many fat pug consequences and pug health issues related to the issue. In fact, obesity is one of the top risks for pugs throughout their lives since it aggravates many other conditions that pugs are prone to suffer:

  • Brachycephalic syndrome: Brachycephalic syndrome is comparable to asthma, which means it is difficult for pugs to breathe. Putting on some pounds is the worst thing that can happen to a pug (and any brachycephalic breed) because it makes it even harder for them to breathe. They get tired faster and are more prone to suffer heat stress (especially during summer or in hot weather).
  • Heatstroke: If heat stress is possible, it also is heatstroke. It’s caused when it’s impossible for dogs to regulate their own temperature to cool down. Pugs have a hard time doing this naturally. Fat pugs don’t even have a fighting chance!
  • Stress on Joints + Arthritis: More weight on the joints equals long-term damage. Pugs need to stay lean since they are already prone to bone issues and hip dysplasia. Nutrition also has a huge role in this one.
  • Diabetes: Pugs are slightly more prone than other dogs to diabetes mellitus. This health concern causes them to not regulate their metabolism and blood sugars, thus they’ll need insulin injections on a daily basis. A poor diet and obesity can worsen the risk.
  • Liver Disease: This one is related to diabetes and is often caused by it.
  • Heart Problems/ High Blood Pressure: These issues are related to obesity.
  • Lower life expectancy:  After these troubles, it’s only logical that the life expectancy of pugs is a watered-down version of what it should be. On average, obesity takes at least 2 years out of your pug’s life. In addition, the quality of life is lower.

Top 3 FAQs – Fat Pugs

1How to keep older pugs lean?

To keep an old pug lean is harder than with young pugs because of their lower energy levels. That’s why keeping them lean is mostly about their diet. You’ll need to get the proper food for Senior Pugs. Also, it’s much easier if you start making them lose weight before they reach seniority (when they’re about 6 years).

2My pug has arthritis. What can I do to make him lean?

Even though some pugs have arthritis, this doesn’t mean they can’t exercise. The best way of doing it? Get him a doggie pool! Swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises for dogs with arthritis. It’s easy on their joints and they love it; pugs included. Make sure to supervise him. Also, warming up with a brisk walk of 10 minutes is advised.

3My pug has heart disease. What can I do to make him lean?

This is a very special case where you’ll need to rely only on nutrition. Get holistic dog food and specialized low-fat and low-calorie treats. You should also check with your vet if you can go for slow-paced walks outside without risks. No rushing though!


What is a Healthy Weight for my Pug? Is my Pug Overweight?

A healthy weight for pugs (on average) is something between 18 to 22 pounds. However, since pugs vary in size, this is not the most accurate measurement method. Small pugs can weigh in about 15 pounds and be rather big, and others can be 22 pounds and be skinny. Another thing to take into account is that male pugs are at least 10% heavier than female pugs.

You probable have a fat Pug if:

  • Your Pug gets tired faster than he used to when he was a puppy.
  • He has breathing issues even when he’s resting.
  • He looks like a barrel! Pugs are muscular and lean when they look as they should. Otherwise, they will look like tired little snoring barrels.

The best way of actually knowing how much your pug should weigh is by checking at the vet!

Pug Weight Calculator.

Pug weight calculators are based mostly on charts. The most accepted informal (without a vet) method is the BCS chart (Body Condition Score). With this method, all you have to do is make a simple comparison between some images and poke your pug around!

  1. First, feel their ribs right beside their chest. You should rather easily feel the ribcage and count the ribs through a thin but cushiony fat layer. If you need to push your fingers, too much fat covers your pug!
  2. After the first step, you need to look at your pug from above and sideways and pay special attention to his waist.
    • From above, you should see a difference between your pug’s waist and the rest of his body. It should look slightly like an 8, with a not so deep waistline. If he looks like a 0, then you’re both in trouble!
    • From the sides, you should be able to see that his chest and his waist/genital area are not in line. If it draws a straight line from waist to chest, that’s a harmful tummy!

Note: If you can easily feel and even see the ribcage, your pug looks like an 8 with a really thin waist from above, and looks like he has his tummy tucked in from the sides, then he’s probably underweight! Especially if it’s an average-sized adult that weighs less than 15 pounds.

You can use our Pug’s BCS chart to get an idea of what you should be looking at!

If you’re not sure about your pug’s weight after measuring her/him like this, you can always go to the vet to double-check this information.

I got a Fat Pug. How to get a Pug to lose weight safely?

Convincing a pug to lose weight safely is easier than you think! Playtime/exercise, treats, the right meals scheduled through the day, and some consistency is all you need. Let’s start!

Playtime/exercise with an obese pug.

 If your pug is obese, you’ll need to start playing and exercising on a daily basis. However, the key to exercise with a fat pug is to pay attention to your pug’s needs before, while, and after exercising.

  • Your pug needs to be well hydrated always, so make sure to take cool water with you and that he drinks plenty before leaving home.
  •  It’s also vital that you know how to identify signs of heat stress and let your pug rest on time. A good way of keeping your pug cool is with a cooling vest for Pugs.
  • Exercising is best if you do it in the mornings or even at night. But, as my trainer said, the best time for exercise is whenever you can do it – just take the right safety measures.
  • For the exercises, you can’t start right away with running. A mild-paced 15-minute walk in the park will turn your obese pug’s engines right away! After that, you’ll want to increase the activity’s duration. Add at least 5 minutes more every third day until you reach 30 minutes and stay there until you see that your pug is not as tired as he used to. When you think you can push the threshold of 30 min, do it, but make sure to have plenty of water!
  • If you have the time, switch the dog’s routine to “do his business” inside the house and take him outside when he has potty needs. After that, take a 5-minute walk around and get back inside. If you do this every time he hits the bathroom, you’ll be adding at least 10 minutes or more of walking time to his daily routine!
  • Do that for at least 2 months in a row before doing something harder, like playing tug of war or fetch. Find the best toys for pugs here!
overweight pug

The importance here is to keep your pug active at least once or twice a day.

Treats and food for obese pugs.

Food for obese pugs needs to be low fat, rather high in protein, and with fiber to aid digestion. This also depends on your pug’s metabolic needs, which varies a lot throughout your pug’s life.

“Geriatric pets often need foods that are more readily digested, and have different calorie levels and ingredients and anti-aging nutrients.”

AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association

Treats are important for many reasons.

  • Keeping your pug filled (without putting on the pounds).
  • Avoid begging (and you falling in the trap).
  • They are the best training aid for pugs!

However, not all treats are pug-friendly. The best treats for pugs are low fat, low carbs, and low calories overall. The flavor is also an important part of the deal and many other things like allergies also need to be kept under control. Find the best treats you can get for your pug here!

Pug Feeding Chart.

Feeding a pug is easy. Resisting the urge to overfeed a pug is the hard part. If you can resist the begging or you managed to stop your pug from begging with our helpful guide, then feeding him is easy!

Depending on the food you chose for him and their feeding guidelines, you can cross-reference theirs with this pug feeding chart. It’s very accurate, even though it seems to be like if you’re not feeding him enough.

Pug losing weight: How fast is safe? NO crash diet!       

This depends on how fat your pug is and how important is for him to lose weight. When dropping on the pounds is very important, he can lose up to 1.5 pounds per month. This can be achieved with a good daily routine and very low calories. Plus, a homemade food recipe is mandatory for these cases.

If the pug weighs more than 20 pounds, say, 40 pounds, then he’ll lose weight much faster, reaching even 5 pounds per month on average.

However, if it’s not vital for him to lose this weight, then it’s safer to take the long path of 0.5 to 1 pound per month with consistency in both exercise and diet. This is much easier, and it can be achieved with your pug’s favorite commercial dog foods.

Healthy Routine to Maintain my Pug’s weight.

“Walking helps preserve your pet’s muscle tone and joint movement. If your pet is overweight or obese, walking can be a great way to shed those extra pounds.”

AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association

A healthy daily routine is crucial to maintain a Pug’s weight. You must know that the routine could vary depending on your pug’s specific needs. Still, it should look a little bit like this:

  1. Waking up early to feed the dog and go for a walk of about 15 minutes. The cooler temperatures of the morning make the chore of walking around much easier for them. They will probably hit the potty outside, so you can save yourself from some house cleaning. Take some water with you and make sure to leave it available for him upon returning home.
  2. Keep him away while you eat or ignore his begging. Make it easier with this guide.
  3. In the afternoon, at about 2 pm, it’s playtime. You can play with him a little bit indoors or outdoors for about 10 to 20 min, depending on your favorite game.
  4. After that, give him the treat to fend off his munchies. You can take advantage of this time to do some grooming since this can be rather demanding for them.
  5. At about 5, 6 or even 7 pm, feed him and take him for a 20 min walk outside. Again, make sure to bring some water to keep him hydrated.

A routine like this will keep him active for about an hour a day, which is actually enough for a pug. Take into account that you should feed him twice a day with servings of 50-60 grams each time. That and some treats should keep him lean always, and help him lose weight if he’s too fat.

If your pug is active inside the house after that, you might want to feed him with the active adult pug’s quantity (75 g twice a day). Make sure to check our food selection for a much more effective approach to diets!

Keep your pug lean and safe from all of the consequences of obesity by following these tips. Cheers!